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Latest Environment Stories
A juvenile basking shark in Irish waters
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - A whopping 71 species of shark can be found swimming in Irish waters. That’s according to the new New Red List of Cartilaginous Fish, as reported by TheJournal.ie, which adds that half of all sharks in Europe can…
Minister of Transport, Shane Ross at the Doolin Ferry Co. stand at the Holiday World Show, Dublin. The Clare based company is to introduce a 200-passenger ferry and operate the fastest ever crossing time on an Aran Islands route from April.
Island News
#FastestCrossing – A newly acquired passenger-only ferry is to offer the fastest ever crossing time to the Aran Islands, when Doolin Ferry introduce a highspeed craft just one month after the seasonal service resumes, writes Jehan Ashmore. Speaking to Afloat…
The ADCP deployed off Inis Meáin as of Saturday 28 January for the next three-and-a-half months
Marine Science
#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises that University College Dublin is running a scientific wave measurement campaign deploying a bed mounted ADCP at Inis Meáin in the Aran Islands s…
The location of the sunken vessel at the end of Cook Street Quay south of Portaferry
News Update
#StrangfordLough - Leaking fuel from a submerged boat in Strangford Lough has promoted environmental concerns, as BelfastLive reports. The three-masted vessel, which has been moored in Portaferry Harbour for some time, crashed into the quay, and sank on Friday (27 January).…
The Marine Institute's research facility in Newport, Co Mayo
Marine Science
#MarineScience - Taoiseach Enda Kenny today (Saturday 28 January) announced the creation of 20 new jobs and a €6 million investment in the Marine Institute's facility in Newport, Co Mayo. The 20 new positions will be based at Newport research…
Skellig Michael will appear once more in the next Star Wars movie due out in December 2017
Aquatic Tourism
#Tourism - The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Titanic Belfast and the Causeway Coast will be first and foremost in Tourism Ireland’s marketing plans for the coming months as Ireland celebrates a record-breaking year for tourism in 2016. Coastal…
Storm force conditions in Buckie, Scotland delayed in the loading of whiskey distillery tanks on board Scot Explorer. The 55m single-hold cargoship was bound for Jameson's Old Distillery plant in Midleton, Co. Cork
Ports & Shipping
#WhiskeyPlant - A cargoship in Scotland was delayed in loading distillery tanks bound for an Irish whiskey plant due to recent storms hitting the UK coast, writes Jehan Ashmore. The 81m short-sea trader Scot Explorer (1996/2,521dwt) was stuck in Buckie…
‘Think Before You Flush’ Initiative Adds More Communities
Coastal Notes
Clean Coasts partnered with Irish Water, for the second year running, launch the ‘Think Before You Flush’ Community Initiative. This programme aims to tackle the problems sanitary products can cause our waste water network and marine environment if flushed down…
Marine Institute’s 2017 Work Experience Programme Calls For Student Bursars
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute is inviting students to apply for a number of work placement bursaries in many exciting areas for the summer of 2017. The Marine Institute Bursary Scholarship Scheme is worth €275 per week for an eight-…
Patrick Gougeon new CEO of OpenHydro
Power From the Sea
OpenHydro, the Irish based tidal energy company and part of DCNS Energies, has appointed Mr Patrick Gougeon as their new Chief Executive Officer. The appointment signals the company’s ongoing drive towards commercialisation of its tidal technology and follows the launch…
People attending a public meeting on the proposed development at Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey earlier this month.
Dublin Bay
#BullochHarbour - Submissions totalling 283 writes The Irish Times have been filed on a controversial development proposed for one of south Dublin’s most popular coastal inlets. The Bulloch Harbour planning application would see a mixed-use development of commercial and residential…
Bottlenose dolphins are a regular delight for wildlife spotters around Ireland's coast
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Ireland’s whales and dolphins feature in a new atlas of the country’s wildlife, as The Irish Times reports. The Atlas of Mammals in Ireland 2010-2015, published by the National Biodiversity Data Centre, maps the distribution of 77 mammal…
Spiddal Marine Energy Test Site Plans Attract More Than 500 Submissions
Galway Harbour
#GalwayBay - More than 500 submissions were lodged during last year’s public consultation on proposals to upgrade the marine energy test site in Galway Bay off Spiddal. And according to the Connacht Tribune, many voiced serious concerns over the project’s…
SeaFest runs from June 30th t July 2nd 2017 in Galway
Maritime Festivals
Galway based and globally renowned event management specialist Arcana has been appointed to stage SeaFest, Ireland's national maritime festival, this summer. Arcana, which has organised sporting, cultural and commemorative historical events across the globe, has been given the challenge of…
Port of Cork €7m site sale hopes, including the 1819-built Custom House, and bonded warehouses which are protected structures
Port of Cork
#PortBuildings - Des Cahill the Lord Mayor of Cork has said Council planners have met with potential buyers for the historic Port of Cork buildings on Custom House Quay. The site writes the Evening Echo, includes the Custom House and…
Connemara Airport at Inverin, near Rossaveal
Island News
#AranIslands - Galway Bay FM reports that a new contract for the decades-old aeroplane service to the Aran Islands has been signed. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the long-awaited PSO contract will see flights continue between the Galway Bay islands…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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